Matcha is a powdered green tea that originates from Japan. But do you know how it tastes? Matcha is bright, vegetal, and slightly bitter, with notes that are sweet and umami.
Matcha of culinary grade can be used to make lattes, smoothies, and other dishes. Matcha contains concentrated amounts of green tea’s many health benefits. The tea is also very high in caffeine. It is a great way to start your day!
Matcha tasting notes
What does matcha taste like? You are not alone. Our customers know matcha well, whether as a standalone product, an ingredient in lattes, or as a flavoring agent for baked goods. They may not be familiar with the taste of high-quality matcha or may fear that it is too bitter or strong for them.
Pure ceremonial matcha has a strong flavor, but it also contains a surprising amount of nuance. Matcha is prepared in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and shared with friends. The ritualized method of preparation allows for a more enjoyable experience. You can discover new flavors by taking the time to enjoy the matcha tea and its different taste notes.
A grassy, vegetal taste is one of the most notable notes in matcha. The green tea leaves used to make matcha are harvested, steamed, and then stone-ground. Japanese green teas are steamed, which results in a stronger vegetal note than Chinese green teas.
Matcha, which is made of whole tea leaves and ground into powder, has a stronger “green tea” taste.
A strong umami flavor is another sign of high-quality matcha. Umami is also a savory, rich flavor found in miso soup and bone broth. This umami flavor can also be described as oceanic when present in matcha.
Matcha tea is flavored with umami by the shading process. The plants are shaded up to three weeks before harvesting, increasing the chlorophyll content and producing a rich, savory taste. This also increases caffeine and theanine levels. Kabusecha and Gyokuro also represent two prominent Japanese loose-leaf green teas grown in the shade.
Matcha is a tea with a slight, lingering sweetness. Pure matcha is not as sweet as a matcha latté, but it does have a natural sweetness, which helps balance the strong flavors in this tea. Matcha is served with small sweets in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies to enhance the sweetness of the tea.
Matcha is slightly bitter. The bitterness of low-quality or improperly prepared tea can be unpleasant, but the best matcha is a subtle bitterness that complements and combines with the other flavors. Matcha has a pleasant astringent taste.
Smoothness is another characteristic of good ceremonial grade matcha. Matcha is often described as smooth, rich, and almost buttery, with a full body and lingering aftertaste. If you’re preparing matcha using a traditional method, using a matcha sifter and whisking your matcha using a matcha whisk can help to ensure that your matcha is smooth, rich, and frothy rather than thin and clumped together.
Matcha is a finely powdered tea with a bright, emerald green color and a rich, vegetal taste. It’s made from stone-ground green tea leaves and produced in Japan. Matcha tea plants are shaded for at least three weeks prior to harvest. After the leaves are harvested, they are then steamed, stone-ground, and packaged for sale.
Powdered green tea was first produced in China but was introduced to Japan in the 12th century. Matcha is an important part of Japanese culture, and the traditional Japanese tea ceremony is used to prepare matcha using a ritualized method developed over centuries. Matcha can be enjoyed on its own and is also a popular ingredient in lattes, smoothies, and baked goods.
Ceremonial vs. culinary grade matcha
Matcha comes in two main grades or categories: ceremonial grade matcha and culinary grade matcha. Proper grade matcha is designed to be enjoyed on its own and has a subtle and complex flavor. Culinary-grade matcha is intended to be added to smoothies and other concoctions and has a bolder flavor. Both types of matcha are tasty, and no one type of matcha is necessarily “better” than the other. They each have different purposes and strengths!
Matcha tea benefits
Matcha contains a concentrated amount of the many benefits of green tea. These include:
- High in EGCG
- Boosts energy
- Reduces stress
- Improves cognitive function
- Good for your teeth
- Good for your metabolism
- High in antioxidants
- Good for your heart
- Improves longevity
- Good for your skin
- Boosts your immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Good for digestion
How to prepare matcha
To make matcha at home, heat cold, filtered water to approximately 175 degrees. Scoop the matcha powder into a sifter using a matcha scoop. (we recommend about two spoons, or approximately one teaspoon, of matcha powder per bowl.) Sift the powder into your matcha bowl, then add a small amount of hot water and use a bamboo matcha whisk to whisk the tea until a smooth paste is formed. Then add up to 6 ounces of water and whisk until frothy.
Are you new to the world of matcha and not sure where to begin? Our matcha starter kit contains everything you need to make matcha at home, including a tin of ceremonial grade matcha, matcha bowl, scoop, whisk, whisk holder, and sifter.